Gravity Ghost Entangles the Heart | Review
A look at Ivy Game’s exploratory indie puzzler Gravity Ghost, a beautifully told tale of loss and acceptance.
Gravity Ghost for PC
I’m always a sucker for a new, unique puzzle game. Gravity Ghost certainly fits the bill, with a complex series of gorgeous puzzles and gameplay unlike anything else I’ve played. Telling the story of a young girl as she struggles to put together pieces of her memory and a shattered planet, Gravity Ghost is filled with bright imagery, soothing music, and a style all its own that brings it all together. With its particular spin on puzzle solving, its distinctive, Native American-inspired aesthetic, and a touching storyline, does this game have what it takes to really pull players in and create a memorable experience?
Gravity Ghost opens up with some simple puzzles meant to get players used to the controls and objectives. The long-haired heroine must travel the galaxy by moving clockwise, counter-clockwise, and jumping. Most of the time, getting from one place to another requires skilled weaving as players soar through the air, drifting from planet to planet within each level. Along the way, animal spirits can be found and must be returned to their bodies to unlock more of the explorer’s personal past, while large guardian creatures within the various areas will offer insights into the history of a broken planet that must be restored. The tale woven by each of these is filled with both sadness and triumph, exploring themes of loss and reconciliation.
What Gravity Ghost does well, it does very, very well. The scenes are absolutely beautiful, with the tribal art style and calming soundtrack creating a dreamlike experience. The puzzles grow in complexity, and players will have to be mindful of a number of elements as they make their way through the many levels. Along the way, our heroine can collect flowers that make her hair longer; long hair helps with gathering up spirit animals, and is used in later levels as magical elements become available. With these, players must manipulate the planets themselves in order to meet goals, collect stars, and fill in more and more of the game’s dual-layered story.
Along the way, Gravity Ghost presents a number of interesting planet “types” with unique properties. Slippery ice planets, breakable bubbles, and orbs of water that can be passed through add a touch of complexity without diverging too far from the core. Unfortunately, the movement itself can be tough to get the hang of, since right and left are always clockwise and counter-clockwise respectively. Keeping a handle on which way you need to turn to get where you’re going becomes difficult as directions shift mid-flight, but it’s not impossible to sort out as you go along. Level progression isn’t strictly linear, either, so you’ve usually got plenty of options if you’re stuck somewhere, though you’ll certainly want to come back later.
As a whole, Gravity Ghost puts together a wonderful fantasy experience, with enough interesting elements and over 100 levels to play through. While it’s still relatively short — experienced gamers could likely speed through in one or two hours — there’s still enough to recommend. The touching story of personal loss that lies under the ethereal beauty of the game is reason enough. While the story scenes and voice acting could be better, the content of the tale itself is on point and keeps the title moving as you soar through its many curious and distinctive worlds to unravel the mysteries and memories of this one-of-a-kind game and its inquisitive heroine.